*The History of the Abu Sayyaf  click here

*Abu Sayyaf’s Links To Police, Military 
  Traced   click here

*Abu Sayyaf: The CIA’s Monster Gone 
  Berserk   click here

*Moro Group Urges Congress Probe of 
  Sayyaf Links with Police & Military click here

*Abu Sayyaf Report: Philippine Daily Inquirer  click here

ARMY PATROL IN BASILAN. Army troopers ride in a pickup with their M-16 
rifles ready as they escort military officials in Isabela, the capital of the island province of Basilan, southern Philippines. 
AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

Letters of the Janjalani Bros. to Pres. Arroyo   click here 

Abu's Commander Global captured 
in General Santos City
Sun*Star Zamboanga

    ZAMBOANGA -- Nadzmi Sabdullah alias Commander "Global", one of the top leaders of the Abu Sayyaf and the brain of all the bandit's kidnapping activities was captured Friday in General Santos City, a military spokesman, said here Monday, July 9.
    The capture of Global took place when police operatives swooped down two villages but failed to catch bandit leader Khadafy Janjalani, who has landed in the western part of Zamboanga City.
    Armed Forces Southern Command spokesman Army Lt. Col. Danilo Servando said Global was captured by combined military and police intelligence operatives at 7 p.m. Friday at Barangay Calumpang, General Santos City.
     Global, who carries a P5-million bounty, was captured together with an Abu Sayyaf bandit sub-leader Tuttoh Harawatan and bandits Alex Saddala and Saltima Sali, who has a P1-million bounty each.
     The arrest of Global and his three cohorts was made possible through the information given by the police and military informants.
     "The capture of Global is definitely a big blow to the Abu Sayyaf," Servando said as the military expects more development from his arrest.
     "One thing leads to another and definitely the arrest of Global and his group will result to further apprehension," he added.
    Servando enumerated the bandits' terrorist activities planned by Global as follows: 

* Raid and abduction of 21 people, mostly foreigners, on April 23 of last year in Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia

* Detention for a fee of nine foreign journalist covering the Sipadan kidnapping on May 13 last year in Patikul, Sulu; 

* Hostage custodian in Mount Puti Odong situated in the border of Talipao and Maimbung towns, Sulu where the 21 people seized from Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia were kept in captivity

* Kidnapping of two Hong Kong and one Malaysian nationals in Malamanok island, Tawi-Tawi on 1998;

* Kidnapping of American priest, Fr. Clarence Bertelsman in Jolo, Sulu on 1997 and three Spanish nuns, also in Jolo on 1993;

* Mastermind in the killing of a certain Marine Cpl. Magtiza and kidnapping of Edwin Endoso in Jolo, Sulu;

* The unsuccessful raid last May 21 Pearl Farm in the Garden City of Samal, Davao City; and 

* Kidnapping of 20 people, including three Americans last May 27 from Dos Palmas beach resort in Palawan.

     Global was also believe to be the brain of Ipil raid in 1995 where 57 people were killed, scores wounded, ransack banks and burned down the town's commercial district.
     Servando said the military has received report that Global was in General Santos to get the firearms he entrusted to a friend and at the same time to search for another possible kidnapping target. 
      Although Global and his three companions were captured Friday night, their identities were established Sunday afternoon following tactical interrogations.
    "Intelligence operations will always take time. We have to develop the case, develop the situation and the culmination of the operations will be the arrest and apprehension of the suspect," Servando said.
    Global was the third top bandit leader captured by the military here in Mindanao. The first was bandit intelligence officer Mullo Abdullah alias Boy Iran and second, supply officer Jose Wong alias Mustafa Amil.
     Servando said Commander Global was placed under tactical interrogation and will be turned over to the court to face charges for various crimes he is involve.
    Meanwhile, Zamboanga City Police Chief of Intelligence, Chief Inspector Jose Bayani Gucela disclosed that their operation to catch Janjalani in the villages of Sinunuc and Ayala in this city yielded negative result.
    The intelligence operation was launched following reports that Janjalani together with seven followers and a pregnant woman has landed Friday night in Sinunuc and proceeded to nearby Barangay Ayala.
    "They were very highly mobile. Possibly they had returned to Basilan," Gucela said citing the bandits can easily travel from one place to the other as they were equipped with 200-horse power speedboat.
    However, he said surveillance and monitoring continue although the bandits are no longer within the area of operations of the Zamboanga City Police Office.

Low profile intellectual behind Abu Sayyaf Group: Commander Global
By Noralyn Mustafa
Inquirer News Service

     JOLO, Sulu --- Nadzmie Saabdulla alias Commander Global, the first of the Abu Sayyaf leaders to fall into the hands of the law, commands respect not only among his peers but foreign journalists as well. 
     This was clearly shown in a video, shown on local television of an abduction of 10 foreign journalists during last year’s Sipadan hostage crisis. 
    Although the hostages, mostly European television crew and reporters, were released after 12 hours with the payment of $25,000 in ransom, the footage taken by an Australian cameraman preserved on film their experience from beginning to end. 
    More importantly, it vividly demonstrated the leadership dynamics within the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf. 
    The video initially showed Galib Andang alias Commander Robot talking with a German TV reporter. 
    The two appeared like old friends, smiling and laughing, as if sharing jokes. Then one noticed some movement in the background, as other foreign journalists appeared to be walking in single file, apparently obeying inaudible orders spoken by an unseen person. 
    The camera panned to Robot and the German. Robot was holding the arm of the foreigner, as if holding him back, but the other seemed to be insisting that he wanted to join the rest. 
    The expression on Robot’s face turned serious. He whispered something to the German, but the latter pointed to himself and then to a direction off-camera, obviously where his colleagues were. 
    Then a voice was clearly heard shouting in Tausug: “Why? Let him come, let him come right now.” 
    Andang reluctantly let go of the German’s arm, and, looking relieved, the journalist eagerly went off to join the tail end of the line disappearing into the jungle, straight into captivity. 
    The voice that Robot was compelled to obey belonged to Global. 
     The soft-spoken Global maintained a low profile. 
      Knowledgeable in Islam and a wide reader, he is the acknowledged “intellectual” among the Abu Sayyaf leaders, impressing even foreign journalists with his articulateness and seeming sincerity in pursuing his “cause.” 
     "Impassioned” was how a French radio correspondent described Global’s explanation of his ideology: Only governance based on the Shari’ah, and a return to the strict moral precepts of Islam, would be workable for the Muslims. 
      His credibility among the Abu Sayyaf followers is apparently based on the simple fact that he lived what he preached. He adhered to a spartan lifestyle and spent his days according to a rigid program of prayers, reflection and reading. 
     It is said that among the known Abu Sayyaf leaders, he is the only one who completed a college education, earning a degree in criminology from the Zamboanga A.E. Colleges. 
     In the TV footage of the press conference yesterday during which the military presented Global to the media, a close-up showed a round scar on his left hand, the stamp of membership in the Beta Sigma fraternity at the University of the Philippines. 
     Among his “brods” are former Flagship Projects Secretary Robert Aventajado and retired Gen. Guillermo Ruiz, both of whom figured prominently in the negotiations for the release of the Sipadan hostages. 
     During that months-long hostage crisis, Global and fellow Indanan native Abu Pula Jumdail fortified themselves in Samak in Talipao, near Bandang, Robot’s territory.
     But it was Robot or his emissaries who made the trips to Samak, and not the other way around, for no major decision was made without Global’s concurrence. 
    Abu Sayyaf followers related that whenever the leaders discussed certain issues, Global would sit quietly listening, and usually spoke only after everyone had exhausted his point. 
    When he did speak up, everyone listened, and almost always agreed with him. 
     It was Global who composed statements to the media and letters to the negotiators, which were usually hand-written in a neat old-fashioned script. 
     The language was elegant, sometimes stilted, but always revealing an educated writer. 
      In yesterday’s TV footage, Global was almost unrecognizable as he stood behind the row of ranking militar officers. 
      He was handcuffed, bareheaded and wearing a striped polo shirt. 
      As strange as the handcuffs was the attire, Global’s usual garb being the Arabian juba, a long-sleeved shirt and an Afghan rebel’s cap. Only the sparse goatee remained. 
     One wondered why he did not become a police officer instead, given his qualifications. Or maybe a local political leader, so he could help bring about the social reforms he envisioned. 
     If such questions about Global and other potential Muslim leaders can be answered, then perhaps we can begin to find answers to why the Abu Sayyaf came to be, and why it continues to exist. 

Military, police fight over Abu bounty, credit: report
By INQ7.net

     THE MILITARY and the police are reportedly fighting over an P8 million cash reward following Sunday’s arrest of an Abu Sayyaf leader and his three companions. 
     A radio report also quoted police officials as accusing the military of “credit grabbing” after Armed Forces operatives allegedly tried to collect the reward money, which consisted of P5 million for the arrest of bandit leader Nadjmi Sabdula alias Comander Global, and P1 million for each of his fellow rebels. 
     Earlier, military spokesman Brig. Gen. Edilberto Adan from Manila announced the arrest of Sabdula and his comrades in General Santos City. Later reports quoted police officials in General Santos as saying that they were the ones who raided the Abu Sayyaf safehouse in the southern port city. 
     The police reportedly claimed the cash reward should go to its four operatives who were responsible for the arrest. 
     But Philippine National Police chief chief Gen. Leandro Mendoza said the reward should go to the civilian  informants, and not to any of the government operatives. 
    Mendoza, in a separate interview, said one of the bounty requirements is that the claimants should not be part of the government. 
    President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had offered a multi-million cash incentive to civilians who could provide information that would lead to the arrest of the Abu Sayyaf Group, who had kidnapped Filipino and American guests and staff at a Palawan resort last May 27. 
Army general chasing Abu sacked amid complaints
Inquirer News Service/Agence France-Presse 

     ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The general heading military forces battling Abu Sayyaf kidnappers in the south was replaced Saturday (July 7) amid growing complaints over the military's failure to rescue the hostages. 
     Brig. Gen. Romeo Dominguez would be reassigned to head Army forces in Samar province, military spokesperson Maj. Alberto Gepilano said. 
     His successor, Brig. Gen. Glicerio Sua, would take over as head of the First Infantry Division in charge of military forces in western Mindanao. 
     Sua’s area of jurisdiction covers the southernmost island groups of Basilan and Sulu, two haunts of the Abu Sayyaf, the self-styled Islamic separatists holding 19 Filipinos and two Americans hostage in Basilan. 
     Last week, Sua replaced Dominguez as head of “Task Force Comet,” a special group hunting the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan. 
     Gepilano remarked that Sua’s assumption to the post would be a morale booster for the troops. 
     Sua previously headed a military operation that overran an Abu Sayyaf camp last year during a similar hostage crisis involving schoolchildren and teachers. 
     The Armed Forces’ reputation has taken a beating since the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan seized 17 Filipinos and three Americans from the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan on May 27. 
     They repeatedly eluded military pursuit and have killed four Filipino hostages and claim to have beheaded one of the Americans, Guillermo Sobero. 
     Although the Abu Sayyaf has released some of their hostages, reportedly in exchange for large ransom payments, they also seized more captives and now hold 21 hostages, including American missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham. 
     About 5,000 troops are combing the forested, hilly terrain of Basilan for the kidnappers but have had little success. 
    Although President Macapagal-Arroyo has defended the military’s efforts, she has not let her loyalty cloud her ambitions to crush the group. A colonel whose forces missed a crucial opportunity to surround the group on June 2 was subsequently replaced. 
     In the main Sulu island of Jolo, another haunt of the Abu Sayyaf, Marines captured three suspected Abu Sayyaf members and seized five rifles and a cache of ammunition on Friday, the military said. 
    The three were arrested after a tip from local residents. 

Abu Sayyaf goes hi-tech
By Alexander M. Young

    ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Message received: "P5M 4 1 hostge.drp $ 2nyt @ hotl loby--ASG." 
     Just like the supporters of Edsa II, the Abu Sayyaf bandits have gone hi-tech. They have found lucrative use of cellular phones and the Internet. 
     By simply punching a keypad, Abu Sayyaf emissaries could easily bid the price tag of each hostage, with the use of text messaging and e-mail. 
    Emissaries of the Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan no longer need to set covert rendezvous, or personally meet with the go-betweens of the relatives of hostages being held in the hinterlands of Basilan as they utilize other means of doing their clandestine negotiations, according to Southern Command spokesperson Col. Danilo Servando. 
    "They’re hi-tech. This is how contacts are made between supposed negotiators," Servando said. 
     Even the transfer of money could be done the electronic way.
     But with this statement, isn’t Servando acknowledging that ransom had indeed been paid by the released hostages?
     He reminded the "go-betweeners’’ that the government is strict about its "no-ransom’’ policy. But it would appear that if the hostages are safely released, the military wouldn’t really mind. 
    Aside from utilizing satellite telephones to contact relatives and negotiators, the Abu Sayyaf also text the panicky relatives of their victims in Manila who may be moving heaven and hell to meet the bandits’ demand. 
     "We have received reports that they use cell phones, text messaging for contact," Servando said. 
     The emissaries are determined to strike a deal that they chat with and e-mail their counterparts even at local Internet cafés, said another source. 
     However, just like in the movies, there are secret meetings of go-betweens and negotiators to clinch deals at darkened corners of local hotel lobbies here. This is where ransom money had been known to change hands. 
     Sources said that negotiations for the release of hostages Kimberly Jao and Francis Ganzon were closed in one of the hotels in this city. Radio reports also said that the two hostages were handed over to a Malacañang aide in one of the local hotels, after being escorted to Zamboanga by Abu Sayyaf sympathizers. 
    "We have received some raw reports,’’ Task Force Zamboanga chief Col. Alexander Yano earlier admitted. So, he ordered troops deployed near hotels and coffee shops. 

NOTE: Click on photos to view larger size

'I WAS IN IPIL' SHIRT. This self-portrait was taken in my room at the New World Hotel in Manila when I visited the Philippines in 1996. The shirt I was wearing shows a town in flames with the words: "I WAS IN IPIL." Ipil was attacked by 200 heavily-armed men on April 4, 1995. At the time, the military blamed an unknown group called Abu Sayyaf for the attack. But many observers believe the attack was orchestrated by the Philippine military to divert the nation's attention and anger at the Ramos Administration for the March 15, 1995 hanging of Filipina maid Flor Contemplacion in Singapore. By the way, the shirts were distributed by the military to journalists who covered the carnage in Ipil. Photo by JOHN L. SHINN III  / LAZT

ABU SAYYAF: A CREATION OF THE MILITARY.  A survivor of the attack in Ipil (seated, center) was presented to the media in Zamboanga City a few days after the looting and burning of the thriving town in Zamboanga del Sur. At far right is Gen. Edgardo Batenga, Southern Command chief. Three years later, a retired Gen. Batenga told reporters in Davao City that the Abu Sayyaf was the creation of the military. Photo by JOHN L. SHINN III  / LAZT


Abu Sayyaf: Bandits or Rebels?
Abu Sayyaf leaders Khaddafi Janjalani, second from left, and Radulan Sahiron, third from left, sit with fellow Abu Sayyaf rebels inside their jungle hideout in the Sulu province of the southern Philippines July 16, 2000. Though Abu Sayyaf leaders say that they are fighting for a Muslim homeland, many consider them to be mere bandits in a fight only for the money.  AP Photo

From: MajoMortensen@rocketmail.com (Jose Mortensen)
To: Johnshinn3@LAZamboangaTTimes.ccom
Date:  6/27/2001 6:04:44 AM 
Subj:  Hi 

   Hi John, 
   It gives me such a heavy heart to hear about the troubles in Basilan. Especially when they killed the 2 workers from the plantation. 
   I am also an Alano and even if I am all the way here in the US, I am still touched at the attack on Golden Harvest. I was wondering if you had more information on the families of the two men who were murdered. I would like to send them a letter and some help. 
   As for the ASG.  Enough said! 


P.S. --- Maybe, if the Moslems can not live in peace with the rest of the country give them Jolo and tell every Moslem in the Philippines to go to Jolo and stay there. 
    Unfortunately I also have Moslem friends, but something has to be done. And their sacrifice of relocating to Jolo will prove themselves.  I would do the same thing if I was them. 
   Then after they have all gone to Jolo, I am sure that there will be terrorism by Filipinos in that island, then they will get a taste of their own medicine. 
    I dont think this problem is ever going to go away.  And it should be stopped before it gets any bigger.  Look what happened to Israel. 
    If they totally had relocated the Palestinians to another land, they would not have the problems they are having now.  Look at Afghanistan and the Taliban! 
    Point is, it is a sad knowledge that Moslems can not mix themselves with other people.

EDITOR'S NOTE: In February 1981, at the age of 10, Majo was kidnapped at the Murga family beach house in Zamboanga City by Muslim bandits from Basilan. Click here to read his personal account of that ordeal.


Copyright 2002 |  L.A. Zamboanga Times